The Detroit Pistons have apologized after their fans booed the Canadian national anthem before a National Basketball Association playoff game against the Toronto Raptors on Sunday night.
The Pistons organization expressed its "regret" for the actions of the fans in an open letter that was released by the team yesterday.
"I just never imagined that kind of response," Pistons president Tom Wilson told the Detroit News. "[Tonight]we'll be asking our fans to please show some respect to our neighbouring country."
The slight angered many Canadians still trying to come to grips with the death of four Canadian soldiers who were accidentally bombed by U.S. forces in Afghanistan last week.
Raptors president Richard Peddie said that he appreciated the comments of Pistons president Wilson and the swift action to try and right the wrong.
"He's a real pro," Peddie said of Wilson. "He was appropriately angered and legitimately saddened by the event. There's always boorish fans in every sport. I don't think [Pistons fans]are any more guilty than the rest of us. It could have happened anywhere, even here."
Raptor forward Morris Peterson, who is from Flint, Mich., said he appreciated the gesture made by the Pistons.
"I think that was professional on their part for them to do that," he said. "I'm pretty sure that they didn't do anything to provoke that sort of a reaction from their fans. It's a classy move." A letter of apology
Dear Pistons and Raptors Fans:
The Detroit Pistons organization would like to express our regret regarding the incidents that occurred during the playing of the Canadian National Anthem before Sunday's game at The Palace of Auburn Hills.
Often times, in the heat of the moment with emotions running high, individuals allow their enthusiasm to overshadow their sense of decorum. We would like to state that these few in no way reflect the attitude of the Detroit Pistons organization, or the overwhelming majority of Pistons fans, regarding our feelings for Canada or our Canadian neighbours.
We will request before all future games that our fans respect the opposing country and its anthem.
The Detroit Pistons Basketball Club